Friday, November 15, 2013

What You Should Know About Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, there’s an eye disease you need to know about. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults today. This disease is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some cases, the blood vessels may swell and leak fluid into the eye, causing blocked vision, vision loss and even blindness.

What are the warning signs?
In many cases, the early stages of diabetic retinopathy yield no real symptoms. In fact,
people with this disease may not realize any vision loss until the disease is in its advanced
stages. And, since there is usually no pain associated, diabetic retinopathy can progress a
long way before being detected.

How is it detected?
Persons with diabetes should have a thorough eye examination at least once a year. As part of the exam, your eyes should be dilated to allow an eye care professional to see more of the inside.

Who’s at risk?
Anyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk. Research indicates that nearly half of all diabetics develop some degree of this disease during their lifetime.

Can diabetic retinopathy be treated?
Laser surgery can now reduce the abnormal blood vessels on the retina, reducing the risk of severe vision loss by up to 90 percent. Laser surgery can also be used to “seal” the leaking block vessels caused by the disease.

Can it be prevented?
Unfortunately, anyone with diabetes can not prevent this disease 100%. But, studies show that better control of your blood sugar level can slow the onset and progression of this disease later on in life.

If you or someone you know has diabetes and has questions about diabetic retinopathy or any other eye disease, please call Infinite Eye Care at 320-257-4990. We are care about the health of your eyes!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cold Air, Dry Eyes

Now that Minnesota winter is well on its way, our eyes get to take on all the battles that the below zero temperatures bring. Our eyes are quickly irritated and dried in the winter months and Minnesota gets to experience four very cold months. Eye injuries occur in high winds, cold weather, and winter activities like skiing or snowmobiling. Some symptoms from cold temperature exposure include: eye pain, blurred vision, double vision, or sensitivity to light.

Also, frozen tears and dry eyes are not fun. Ever wonder why our eyes water in the cold weather? The cold air stimulates the production of tears to protect the eyes and acts as a lubricator. It’s actually a normal response that yes, can be annoying.

We strongly encourage that you use eye protection by using goggles with UV protection while skiing and other winter activities. This is crucial if you want to decrease the risk of injury and eliminate the issue of dry eyes when flying through the cold air.

For light sensitivity, put on those sunglasses! It is perfectly healthy and normal to wear sunglasses during the cold winter days, it’s still the same UV rays as the summer. We guarantee you won’t get any funny looks!

Dry eyes and contact wearing may be the worst combination in the winter. Your contact lenses soak up the moisture. It may be worth looking into finding some rewetting drops to keep your eyes moist!
For the most obvious and easy tip to keep your eyes healthy and hydrated, water! We promise your eyes will thank you!

For any other questions related to dry eyes or light sensitivity in any season, stop by our office and we would be happy to answer them!